National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has partnered with Generation India Foundation (GIF) to launch Project AMBER (Accelerated Mission for Better Employment and Retention) with an aim to bridge the gap between skilling and employment.
The programme intends to create and implement a scalable and long-term skill development approach that supports inclusive growth, better outcomes, and institutional improvement in order to provide India’s youth with industry-relevant skills and job prospects.
The project, which is supported equally by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and private charity, aims to teach 30,000 youngsters, 50% of whom will be women, under the Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) programme. COVID-resilient job roles will be trained in Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKKs) throughout 70 districts.
Lauding the initiative, Mr Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said, “The country today needs to invest in skill development and training for its unique demography. The skilling ecosystem has changed, especially after the pandemic, and it is our prerogative to make sure our youth find employment in the changing job market. Initiatives such as AMBER allow employers and industry to join hands to provide prospects in COVID-resilient job roles. Keeping the attrition rate in mind, we should also ensure candidates get the right industry exposure, counselling and pre-training to build their confidence. I am confident this programme will inspire more global players and philanthropies to invest in India’s skill development programmes and attract the youth to vocational training in their aspiration to be self-reliant. I congratulate NSDC, Generation India and the associated partners for launching this initiative that will align their expertise towards skilling the youth of India.”
Project AMBER aims to have a greater placement and retention rate than existing programmes, such that learners’ skilling is relevant to them and they are prepared for resilient work roles in a post-COVID economy. General Duty Assistant, Junior Full Stack Developer, Retail Sales Associate, Customer Service Executive, Sewing Machine Operator, Hospital Front Desk Executive, Solar PV Installer, Food and Beverage Steward are some of the COVID-resilient industries and job roles identified for this study. The employment roles will be introduced over a two-year period.
Ved Mani Tiwari, COO, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), said, “NSDC has been relentless in its pursuit of innovative solutions, always on the lookout for future opportunities that can be leveraged to strengthen the skilling ecosystem. With the launch of Project AMBER, our objective is to roll out market-driven training programs that help create a skilled workforce geared to take up jobs of the future. The collaboration with Generation and private philanthropy aims to build a robust network that can provide training delivery per international standards and quality parameters. We believe, AMBER will be instrumental in creating a holistic ecosystem that will pave new pathways for new capabilities.”
Project AMBER will rely on the GIF’s holistic seven-step approach to generate higher-quality skilling, better employment, and retention outcomes. The project is supported by the BlackRock Foundation and McKinsey and Company.
“Project AMBER is an ambitious effort to train, place, and support Indian youth into jobs that will provide life-changing stability for them and their families, and we are delighted to be part of it,” said Mona Mourshed, global CEO of Generation. “This collaborative effort brings together government, private sector, and nonprofit organizations and is exactly what’s required to address the urgent challenge of getting people into work as the economy recovers from the shocks of the pandemic.”
Speaking on the empowering project, Arunesh Singh, CEO, Generation India, said, “The pandemic has only exacerbated the problem of youth unemployment and no organisation alone can solve it. Project AMBER brings in a solution to this problem by bringing together the private sector, government, training partners and employers. This addresses the immediate need of supporting the youth in India with employable skills and job opportunities.”
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The launch event also witnessed certification of Retail Sales Associate batch from PMKK Jaipur by Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, MSDE, Government of India. This was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Outcome-based skilling, challenges and opportunities, and private sector participation,’ which was joined by Deepti Srivastava, Director, MSDE, Government of India; Dr. Shabnam Sinha, Lead Education Specialist, India, World Bank Group; RCM Reddy, Managing Director and CEO, Learnet Skills Limited; Saipriya Sarangan, Director and Board Member, Generation India; Arunkumar Pillai, CSO, NSDC; Priya Naik, Founder and CEO, Samhita among others.